Thursday, June 8, 2017

The Man in the Arena

I type out this excerpt from President Roosevelt's "Citizenship in a Republic" speech, already quoted above, because there is an affirming quality to that very act, to not only reading the words, but reproducing them myself. The words take on new & greater significance when there are reproduced via typing, above & beyond cutting-&-pasting. This realization is why I re-type "The Oath of Narwhal Day" every year, I don't simply lift it from one year's Narwhal Day post to the next.

"It is not the critic who counts;
not the man who points out how the strong man stumbles,
or where the doer of deeds could have done them better.
The credit belongs to the man who is actually in the arena,
whose face is marred by dust and sweat and blood;
who strives valiantly; who errs,
who comes up short again and again,
because there is no effort without error and shortcoming;
but who does actually strive to do the deeds;
who knows great enthusiasms,
the great devotions;
who spends himself in a worthy cause;
who at the best knows in the end the triumph of high achievement,
and who at worst,
if he fails,
at least fails while daring greatly,
so that his place shall never be with those cold and timid souls who neither know victory nor defeat."

Tuesday, I had occasion to cross (verbal) swords with the critics, elsewhere in this blog referred to as the bastards you mustn't let grind you down. I spoke my piece with vigor & conviction, praising the man in the arena whose face is marred with dust & sweat & blood & naysaying the critic. One critic, a vicious backbiter who relishes dishing it out but who cannot stand being given a taste of his own medicine, replied with vulgar language & childish protestations of quitting the game & taking his ball home. Good riddance, I say! The brotherhood will be stronger without his cold & timid soul.

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